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Research projects

Supported Employment and the construction of "immigrants" as "disabled" in the Swedish labor market

About this project

Project information

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Research subject

Research environments

The focus of this research is the Swedish labour market policy guidelines. Peralta has been studying the 1990s as a period of economic crisis and mass unemployment. The point of departure for Peralta’s research is that the definition of so¬cial problems is a complex process of social construction. Unemployment has not always been defined as a social problem. It has been understood and conceptu¬alised differently over time. Frames of interpretation contribute to the construction and/or (re)production of categories of unemployed within the context of active Swedish labour market policies. Peralta’s work shows that the flexibility of the labour market, and of labour market policy, is an institutional and discursive process that leads to new categorisations and Otherings on the labour market. In the wake of the 1990s crisis, and of the more structural transformation of the Swedish labour market, a group of long-term unemployed has emerged. In the official guidelines of the labour market policy, the recommendations are to treat this  group within the framework of the measures and activities that earlier applied to groups with disabilities. In this process, the structural labour market problem becomes defined politically in terms of individual disabilities. This is not only a process of individualisation,  but also a process of medicalization. In this manner, unemployment, and particularly long-term unemployment, becomes analogous to disability. This project deals, specifically, with the application of the Supported Employment methodology with the purpose to "get immigrants worker in the labor market" and in the work to "help" people with disabilities to reach, obtain and keep a job.


Research funding bodies

  • Örebro University